You have to write two (2) critiques of Journal articles for this class. These will be critical evaluations of articles on subjects related to the topics covered in the text and class. Each article is worth 100 points. The first article you will be allowed to re-write if you are not satisfied with your grade. The second article you will NOT have the opportunity to re-write.

What is expected in your critiques and how they will be graded (100 points possible):

  1. Identify your article by title, author and source.
  2. Review the content of the article, summarize its main points. What is the problem/issue/argument that this article is about?
  3. Identify how the article relates to the field of psychology, what area of psychology it deals with and tell why the article may be of importance in the field. Relate the article to the Chapters you have read in class or to the exercises in class. What theories or theorist relates closest to the issue?)
  4. Articulate the meaning and thought you have derived from the article. Does it have any special importance to you or to a particular segment of society? Why? You must show me that you have thought about the article. Do you question the results or conclusions that the article draws? Do you feel the article or the research it reports on was lacking in some way? Show how an aspect of this issue applies to you or someone you know.
  5. Quality and style.
  6. If your article is turned in late you lose 10 points automatically.

Style Guidelines

  • Minimum of 3 pages in length, not to exceed 5 pages in length
  • Typed, double spaced
  • 1 inch margins all around (top, bottom and both sides)
  • Use either 10 point or 12 point font
  • Remember to spell check your paper
  • Remember to proof-read your paper
  • Title, author and publication information at the top of first page, centered
  • Your name in top corner
  • Staple sheets in top corner
  • Please do not use a binder, I will not mark down if you do but I will not be responsible for returning binders intact
  • I do accept papers submitted electronically (via e-mail attachments). When submitting a paper via e-mail, please submit in MS Word format.



Acceptable Publications for Journal Articles

Your second Journal Article MUST be from a scholarly Journals:

Your second critique MUST be of a scholarly article that has references — NOT from a short news item or an editorial. If you use an Internet source you MUST provide the complete web address of the article as part of the title.


  1. American Journal of Psychology
  2. Journal of Social Psychology
  3. Archives of General Psychiatry ( : be sure to select only those articles that have “full text only” available.
  4. Psycoloquy: A Peer-Reviewed Interdisciplinary Electronic Journal
  5. Social Problems
  6. Social Work
  7. Perspectives, A Mental Health Magazine (
  8.   Current Research in Social Psychology



75 pts
55 pts
35 pts



Summary for Article
20 pts Summarize the main ideas and facts in the article.


All main ideas and facts from the article are included. Summary is written in objective view and referencing to the article is provided. Author and source are named.


Some details from article are missing. Summary is not objective OR minimal referencing to the article is provided. Author OR source are not named.


No summary is provided OR a verbatim of the text is provided. Author and source are not named.



20 pts Provide personal comments pertaining to the article and how it relates to class material and the textbook.


Personal comments are clearly stated. Student clearly demonstrates a strong working knowledge of class material relative to the article. References are made to the textbook and specific chapters or page numbers are provided.


Few personal comments. Student demonstrates some working knowledge of class material relative to the article. Few references are made to the textbook OR no chapter or page number information is provided.


No personal comments are provided. No relationship between article and class material is provided. No references are given.



Grammar and Organization
20 pts


Paper is well organized and easy to follow. There are no spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors.


Paper is not well organized OR there are many grammatical errors.


Paper is not organized and there are many grammatical errors.



10 pts


Paper is the appropriate length, has appropriate margins, and is provided in the correct font.


Paper is not the appropriate length OR has inappropriate margins OR is not in the correct font.


Paper is not the appropriate length, has inappropriate margins, and is not in the correct font.



5  pts


Related to topic of article and engaging. Incorporates examples that can be applied to classroom instruction. Incorporates aspects from field of study.


Is related to topic of article. Presentation not engaging OR does not incorporate examples that can be applied to classroom instruction.


Is not related to topic of article. Presentation not engaging OR does not incorporate examples that can be applied to classroom instruction.

Psychology Journal Article Review Ruberic


Here are two sample papers done by students in a previous Psychology class. They received full points. Note: These papers are reproduced here with a smaller font, with smaller margins, and single spaced to save space. I expect you to follow the type guidelines given on the assignment instructions.

Brain changes linked to phantom-limb pain.

Science News, vol. 147, #23, June 10, 1995, page 357

For more than 100 years, physicians have published accounts of amputees who have felt varying degrees of sensation, from an itch to excruciating pain, in the missing limb. These physicians have been at a loss as to the cause of this pain and have failed to relieve the discomfort of the sufferers. This article seems to offer a small amount of hope to these unfortunates. In this article B. Bower explores a study done by a psychologist at Humboldt University in Berlin, and a psychologist at the University of Alabama. This study reveals a possible connection between phantom-limb pain and reorganization of the somatosensory cortex, nerve impulse center for the brain. The scientists proposed that when large-scale re-modeling of this strip of sensory tissue occurred it might alter the neural circuits involved in the sensation of pain.

The researchers recruited 12 men and 1 woman between the ages of 27 and 73, that had each had an arm amputated at least a year before the study. The scientists then measured magnetic responses in the brains of the amputees as pressure was applied to the intact thumb and pinkie and also on the left and right sides of the lower lip or on the chin. They then mapped these areas onto a reconstructed image of the somatosensory cortex. All responses were mapped only onto the portion of the image representing the hemisphere of the brain responsible for the intact limb; therefore, it was necessary to mirror these responses to the other hemisphere to compose a complete image.

Previously, other scientists had mapped magnetic imaging of individuals who had not had amputations. These records constituted the control group for this phantom-limb pain experiment. By contrasting the results of the control group imaging and the current case study group the researchers noted considerable cortical reorganization. The most pronounced changes occurred in the eight participants who experienced phantom-limb pain. The researchers noted extensive encroachment of the sensory areas for the face into areas previously used for the amputated fingers. They also observed a proportional correlation between the amount of cortical reorganization and the intensity of pain experienced.

Two theories concerning the cause of phantom-limb pain are associated with this reorganization. One theory suggests that the nervous system damage may trigger formation of new connections of somatosensory cells or possibly strengthen prior connections. This could cause an imbalance of pain messages from other areas of the brain. The other theory suggests that the somatosensory re-mapping may accidentally infringe on the nearby pain centers thus causing the phantom-limb pain.

The article closes with an acknowledgment that considerably more research needs to be done. I concur with this evaluation. While eight out of thirteen sounds like a good percentage, thirteen people are not representative enough to be definitive. A much wider sampling including both ages and gender should be taken. The article does not state if there were any other factors that needed control, but this also should be more carefully evaluated.

September 7th our class studied and discussed the biological working of the brain. Our study covered the somatosensory area that corresponds to the perception of touch in a specific area of the body. Parts of the body with a greater amount of sensation have a larger portion of this sensory area relegated to them. When I observed the diagram in our book I noticed that the fingers and the face seem to be removed from each other and yet the article refers to the face area encroaching on the amputated finger area. Between these two regions are other sensory areas. I would like to know how these areas are affected by this restructuring.

The same evening that we discussed chapter 2, which concerns the biological brain, we also explored the concept of perceptual constancy from chapter 3. Could some of this phantom-limb pain experienced by these individuals remain because it is what the amputee expects (perhaps as part of the body denying the amputation)? This is not really dealt with in the article; however, perhaps a relationship of some kind exists between perceptual constancy and somatosensory reorganization. I would be interested to know how the researchers would factor this out of their equation.

  1. Bower presents some intriguing theories in this article. Further investigation may verify any or all of these theories. Yet, finding a means of providing relief for amputees suffering from the false sensations of phantom-limb pain would still require a lot of research. I am assuming that this alleviation is the ultimate goal. However, it appears that any solution for these sufferers is a long way off.

Emotion experienced during encoding enhances odor retrieval cue effectiveness.

Rachel S. Herz, American Journal of Psychology, Winter 1997, v. 110,n. 4, p. 489.

This article outlines two experiments involving the interconnections of odor, emotions, and memory. Both experiments tested the theory that odor is a more effective recovery cue if it is encoded in an emotionally charged state (anxious) than in an emotionally neutral state. The results of the experiments demonstrate that increased emotion experienced during encoding with an odor can enhance the effectiveness of odor as a retrieval cue. These experiments also support the theory that emotional potency is a key variable in the forming of odor-associated memory. The beginning of the article suggested that such a finding could be explained by the interaction of the olfactory center, the amygdala, and the hippocampus.

Chapter two in our text deals primarily with the functions and interactions of the specific areas of the brain. According to the text, one of the functions of the amygdala is the activation of fear and rage. The hippocampus is also involved with the function of emotion, but in a more regulatory manner. This is also the center of the brain that is involved in forming new memories. Chapter three in our text deals with sensory perception. Perception is the process of interpreting outside stimulus through one of the sense organs. In this case it would be through the olfactory epithelium, which is closely connected to the amygdala and the hippocampus.

The experiments in the article used anxiety as the emotional stimulant for word recall, and I wonder if a more intense emotion or mood would have created different results? I would be curious to see if anger would completely override the influence of an odor, or would the more potent mood intensify the effect odor has on memory recall? I also wonder if positive emotions (love or joy) have similar, or maybe greater, impact on memory recall when associated with an odor.

I also wonder if sex and age have an influence on the emotional recall process associated with odor. In my experience of odor and memory recall, certain odors prompt me to recall intensely, pleasant memories. I have very few memories of unpleasant experiences, which I associate with odors. Most of the memories I consciously associate with odor and positive emotions are from my childhood. Is this a function of the child’s developing mind or is it because females are more inclined to identify with pleasant emotions? I think that more research needs to be done in this area.

The theorist William James would associate the stimulus of memory through odor as a function of our ability to make conscious decisions, ensuring our survival. If odors or other stimulus didn’t evoke emotional memories, we would not be able to associate a particular scent with a particular event or circumstance in our experience; thus causing us to repeat the same mistakes and also preventing us from re-experiencing pleasant sensations.

Freud would explain the association of odor and memory as having a sexual or aggressive motivation; thus interpreting this association of odor, emotion and memory as being part of our unconscious mind. I don’t agree with his theories entirely, but I can see that odor could help stimulate an aggressive or sexual emotion associated with a specific memory. This does not mean that these are our only motivations.

This article prompted me to thin more critically about the field of psychology. I can better see how our physiological functions play a part in how we, as thinking and feeling beings, function and make decisions based on both external and internal stimulants. All of the theories and scientists in the field of psychology address this function of our complex (conscious and unconscious) decision making processes. I think these pioneers in psychology begin to touch on the complexity of the human mind, but none of them explain it wholly.


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Dominic Murphy, Hunt, Luzon, and Greenberg: Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2014; 5: 10.3402/ejpt.v5.21759.published online 2014 Feb 2017

The journal evaluates factors that enabled combat veterans from the United Kingdom forces with PTSD access mental health services and how they dealt with various barriers to access service. The approach by authors was to evaluate the relationship between social stigma and barrier to care among the UK armed veterans. The study involved the UK military who were examined on contributing factors to their decisions of accessing health care and how they dealt with this condition.


Most of the participants said that they sought health care due to their weak physical health and therefore, it can be conclude that these veterans expressed their psychological distress through physical symptoms.


Murphy, (2014), states that physical suffering is acceptable in the culture of military populations than psychological whereby it contributes to the development of severe difficulties among members of military forces before they could admit that they were experiencing serious complications.